How do you defy society's expectations

The Association of Plastics Manufacturers, PlasticsEurope Germany, confirmed the industry's latest expectations at its annual business press conference: In 2020, plastics production in Germany fell by 1.6 percent in view of the pandemic. In order to remain resilient and competitive, the plastics industry wants to become the driver of sustainable production and circular economy, so the general conclusion of the event.

According to PlasticsEurope Deutschland Managing Director Ingemar Bühler, there are good reasons to be optimistic about the time after the pandemic, but one should not rely solely on a resurgent economy. During the virtual exchange with journalists, Bühler demanded “to become a global pioneer for more efficient, resource-conserving business practices. Innovative recycling technologies, production with renewable raw materials and more easily recyclable products ensure more environmental and climate protection and at the same time secure the future viability of our industry ”.

Dr. Michael Zobel, Chairman of the Board of Management of PlasticsEurope Germany spanned the here and now and explained the current economic key figures: In 2020, sales in the industry fell by 8.7 percent compared to the previous year due to price pressure during the pandemic, exports fell slightly by 0, 8 percent and imports fell significantly by over 7 percent.

The deterioration in the supply situation on the German market, which is currently being observed, was already apparent in 2020. According to Dr. Zobel on an increased number of force majeure reports: “Germany is in any case dependent on imports when its capacities are fully utilized.

The effects of the pandemic, such as delayed maintenance or repeated production stops, made things even more difficult. In addition, there are no imports from the USA or China, as demand exceeds supply in both countries ”. An end to the bottlenecks is therefore not to be expected for the time being, according to the chairman. Overall, Dr. Zobel had a positive outlook and saw “good reasons for optimism. The vaccination campaign in Germany is progressing, the Asian market is comparatively robust and that also applies to the US economy ”.

Ingemar Bühler concluded the press conference with a few words about important decisions for the plastics industry. In the future, plastics producers will have to rely on more tailwind from politics and society: “Affordable energy, openness to innovations and progressive technologies, as well as faster and legally secure permits for the new circular economy systems - all of this is needed to enable us to compete globally for the future of industry exist, ”says Bühler. Then the plastics industry will be "the world leader in sustainable and innovative products and processes - and make an important contribution to prosperity, quality of life and jobs".

Press release as a PDF document.